Holiday Ratings Update 2013-14

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. It is a busy time of year for sports, with the World Juniors, Winter Classic and Wild Card NFL playoffs. Here is a quick recap of the ratings over the past week.

TSN once again boasted about record ratings for a World Junior tournament taking place in Europe. For Canada’s four preliminary round games, an average of 1.4 million viewers watched. The game-by-game breakdown was: Canada vs. Czech Republic, 1.75 million; Canada vs. USA, 1.74 million; Canada-Slovakia, 1.2 million; Canada-Germany, 755 000. The Boxing Day game was audience almost doubled over last year. The Canada-USA game was the most viewed program in Canada on New Year’s Eve, while the game against the Czech Republic was the highest ever for a group stage game played in Europe.

Due to new tournament rules, the first place team in each group now has to play a quarterfinal, instead of receiving a bye into the semis. As a result TSN aired an extra Canada game, with 1.6 million viewers tuning into the quartefinal vs. Switzerland. In other quarterfinal action an average of 752 000 watched the host Swedes play Slovakia. Despite Canada not playing a very close game in a semifinal loss to Finland, an average of 2.7 million viewers tuned in. This set a record as the most watched World Junior game at any European-hosted tournament. However, with the Canada loss, the numbers for Sunday’s medal games tumbled. An average of 1 million watched the final between Sweden and Finland.

While all of TSN’s World Junior records were asterisked with “among European-hosted tournaments”, the 2014 Winter Classic from The Big House set a record on TV. It is not only the highest attended hockey game in history, but also the most watched regular season game in Canada on record. An average of 3.57 million watched CBC’s four-hour broadcast as the Leafs defeated the Red Wings in a shootout. That almost doubled the previous high for a Winter Classic, when Pittsburgh and Washington played each other on a Saturday night in 2011. The previous high for a regular season game in Canada was last January’s season opener between Toronto and Montreal. The audience peaked at 5.3 million during the shootout.

Lastly, here are the numbers for CTV’s coverage of the NFL Wild Card playoffs over the weekend. On Saturday 997 000 watched Kansas City-Indianapolis and 1.1 million watched New Orleans-Philadelphia. On Sunday 869 000 watched San Diego-Kansas City and 1.6 million watched San Francisco-Green Bay. The average of the four games was 1.1 million. Those ratings are down as a whole compared to last season, when the average was 1.2 million. The AFC games were both down compared to last year, while the NFC games were about even. For those wondering about a comparison of Sunday’s NFL games and November’s CFL Division Semis, the CFL beat the NFL averaging 1.5 million.

18 thoughts on “Holiday Ratings Update 2013-14

  1. Thanks for assembling these numbers together. There must have been 1.6m Nissans and Egg McMuffins purchased today based on CTV carpet-bombing the ads during the games.

    • Instead of directly watching the US stations by using an antenna as I usually do at home, I had the misfortune of seeing the CTV broadcast simsubbed on cable at someone else’s house for most of the NFL play off games on Sunday. I don’t care about the commercials and push the mute button when at home. But I’m sure the US stations are no where near as bad as CTV is with their annoyingly repetitive ads and show promos. I’m not watching at someone else’s house next week unless they let me control the remote or at least promise to mute the TV sound during the breaks.

      • American networks are just as bad if not worse.

        • I disagree, at least the American networks cater their commercials to the demographics of those who actually watch football. This might’ve been only for the people watching in Southern Ontario, but nearly every commercial break on CTV had a commercial for Revera nursing homes that was clearly made for elderly women. Not only did it not make any sense to show during a broadcast of an NFL playoff game, but it was a pretty poorly acted and staged commercial to boot.

          • Yep. There was an annoying and lame McDonalds commercial promoting their Buffalo Chicken Snack Wrap. I wish that I could experience an NFL playoff game broadcast OTA through American channels but I don’t reside in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Windsor. For someone who resides in the Ottawa area like myself and probably wouldn’t be lucky enough to pick up signals from Watertown, a free to air satellite setup would be the way to go.

            • Obviously the US networks showing the NFL games have the same number of breaks, but they aren’t limited to quite as small a number of the same commercials and promos relentlessly repeated over and over again as on CTV. And the games were on three different US networks this past weekend, unlike Canada where some people had no option except CTV. I know it’s a trivial thing to whine about, but I’m not watching at your place if I can’t avoid “whaaaaaaat” and the same Castle promo 50 or 60 times each by the end of the day.

              The US cable channels, like the NFL Network, are almost as bad as CTV for having to avoid the same things every break. The worst is Speed, now without any real commercials and just the same small number of pseudo-religion and generic promos for their own shows. One they’re still showing is for the defunct Rolex SportsCar Series (it’s merged with ALMS to become the United SportsCar Championship). There is virtually nothing of any value to anyone on what’s left of this channel during the winter, and nothing but the Fox Sports racing coverage on weekends the rest of the year. I really hope the Canadian carriers are looking into replacing it with a better motorsports channel.

          • Meh, I don’t really care about ads one way or another. Except during the Super Bowl. Its probably the only sports event I ever watch ads during. Otherwise I just watch something else during breaks.

            Maybe they thought middle-aged men might have an influence in their mothers moving into nursing homes?

      • For me, the best way to watch the game, it’s to PVR it and start watching the game around 45 minutes after the kickoff. That way, I can jump all the commencials and the halwtime and still watch the last minutes of the 4th quarter live without missing a single play. I also do this for hockey games and NASCAR races.

  2. Did TSN announce the ratings for the bronze medal game?

  3. Mlb Network is now on channel 415 in Ontario (Rogers).

    • I am not a baseball fan but it’s about time that the MLB Network finally got added on Rogers Cablesystems here in Ontario!

  4. Is it possible to get ratings numbers on the NCAA Bowl games in Canada? Specifically I would love to know which drew a larger audience, on Dec. 28, between the TSN2 replay of Sweden-Finland in the WJC or the Sportsnet 360 showing of the Michigan-Kansas St. “Buffalo wild Wings Bowl”.


    • No I haven’t seen anything for either. Would be shocked if the Wild Wings Bowl had more than 50k. World Juniors may have had more viewers, but hard to tell since it was on tape delay and against HNIC.

  5. As for Nhl on City Tv next year does anyone know how many games they plan on having on that channel is it just saturdays?

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